Item description for Tithing: Discover the Freedom of Biblical Giving by R. T. Kendall...
Overview R. T. Kendall believes that all Christians are called to tithe. What is more, he is convinced that the church would be revitalized and the world transformed if all Christians did begin to tithe. Dr. Kendall combines this bold claim with biblical, theological, and practical implications of tithing. Tithing is sometimes regarded as threatening, but it emerges in this book as both challenging and inspiring. Numerous exciting testimonies are told, all demonstrating in individual lives the principle that underlies tithing. "You cannot outgive to the Lord."
Publishers Description R.T. Kendall believes that all Christians are called to tithe. What is more, he is convinced that the church would be revitalized and the world transformed if all Christians did begin to tithe. Dr. Kendall combines this bold claim with the biblical, theological, and practical implications of tithing. Tithing is sometimes regarded as threatening, but it emerges in this book as both challenging and inspiring. Numerous exciting testimonies are told, all demonstrating in individual lives the principle that underlies tithing. 'You cannot outgive the Lord.'
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More About R. T. Kendall
Dr. R. T. Kendall, renowned pastor and author, spent 25 years as senior minister of the historic Westminster Chapel in London. He has authored numerous bestselling books, conducts conferences all over the world and is a columnist for "Ministry Today". He lives with his wife, Louise, near Nashville, Tennessee.
In RT's own words... Our premise is this. It seems to us that there has been a ‘silent divorce’ in the church, speaking generally, between the Word and the Spirit. When there is a divorce, some children stay with the mother, some stay with the father.
In this divorce, there are those on the ‘word’ side and those on the ‘Spirit’ side. What is the difference?
Take those of us who represent the Word. Our message is this: we must earnestly contend for the faith ‘once delivered unto the saints’ (Jude 3), we need get back to expository preaching, sound doctrine such as justification by faith, the sovereignty of God and the internal testimony of the Spirit as taught by men like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right.
Take those whose emphasis has been on the Holy Spirit. What is the message? We need to rediscover the power that was manifested in the Book of Acts, there needs to be a demonstration of signs, wonders and miracles; we need to see the gifts of the Spirit operating in the church – that the world will once again take notice of the church so that people are left without excuse. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right.
We believe that the need of the hour is not one or the other – but both! It is our view that this simultaneous combination will result in spontaneous combustion! And then, but almost certainly only then, will the world be shaken once again by the message of the church.
This was the message I have preached over the years at Westminster Chapel in London. This is what we are endeavoring to preach in America and around the world. This is not all we preach but it is certainly one of the main things we preach alongside the need for total forgiveness and learning to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. We need your prayers. God bless you.
R. T. Kendall currently resides in London.
R. T. Kendall has published or released items in the following series...
I have just completed reading "Tithing" by Dr. R. T. Kendall. It went far beyond tithing for me. In addition to gaining what is called call lagniappe in Louisiana (something extra); I completed this book with a renewed commitment and a deeper understanding of Tithing.
I have concluded that "to enjoy the comfort and the abundance of a church atmosphere financed by tithing members, and NOT tithe, is to declare yourself a "welfare worshiper."
Every church should find an incentive to get each member to, at the very least, read the book. At the conclusion of reading the book, the congregation should be given the opportunity to engage in an open, spirited, and spiritual debate to make the case: "to tithe or not to tithe." I predict that the outcome would be revolutionary.
He makes a strong case for tithing and provides much to consider.
Truly not a bad book! Jul 24, 2002
I finished reading this book a couple of days ago. I was pretty pleased with Kendall's treatment of the tithe in Scripture. I think he is correct in his treatment of the tithe. But, I do not think he goes far enough in stressing why God instituted the tithe.
I was somewhat disappointed by Kendall's tendency to run tangents that really did not contribute to his point. He did this on a few occasions. Still, it did not take away from his central point that God's people tithed before the Mosaic Law and they should continue to tithe after Christ's work on earth was completed.
As for the negative comments of the "theologian" in his review. I too am a theologian, though not yet a Ph.D. I am unconvinced by his stated reasons that Kendall's book is wrong. After I read his book, I will adequately review it as well. Should the church teach tithing? I answer a resounding yes. But, the church should teach more than tithing as well. Kendall does state this in his book, though not strongly.
Kendall does a good job of addressing the issue of Law and Grace. I think it would benefit most Christians to read this section alone. Kendall is correct in denying the antinomian tendency to say that the New Testament nullifies the Old Testament. Such a claim is not Biblical.
Despite the other reviews, I think this book should be read by all Christians who do not tithe - and even by the one's who do.
Poorly researched. Jun 19, 2002
It is quite evident that Kendall has never made any kind of extensive research on tithing before writing this book. His unbalanced presentation only quotes others who agree with him.
1. No effort is made in the book to define the term, "tithe." The author's definition is purely what he thought it meant from childhood. 2. The opening pages are basically a "shame on you" to those who disagree. They are labeled as "escaping from glorifying God" (p24). Several times the author appears to blame all of the shortcomings of the church on its lack of tithing. He seems unconcerned that the theological systems may be widely different. 3. The curse and material blessings of Malachi are prominent. Missing is the O.T. context of the curse (Deu 27:19, 26; Neh 10:29; Mal 3:1-7; 4:4). Missing also is the fact from Numbers 18 that tithing itself entered as a death curse when the priesthood was taken from the family head. As usual in this type of book, Malachi 3 is used as a hammer and quoted repeatedly. 4. Tithing was not specifically taught in the New Testament, he says, because it was an "assumption" (p29). Yet a valid principle of interpretation states that all vital doctrines carried over from the O.T. are repeated in the N.T. after Calvary. 5. Jesus' mention of tithing in Mt. 23:23 is clearly in the context of a discussion of the law, those under it, and those who misuse it (Mt 23:2-4). 6. Kendall asks, "Where would foreign missions be without this verse?," Mt 23:23. Strangely, his "motivation" for giving on pages 104-106 does NOT include a "compassion for lost souls" or "love response to God." O.T. Jews tithed according to the Law and had no missions at all! Tithing is not the answer. The law has no power or glory when compared to the power of the Spirit (2 Cor 3:10-18). 7. Page 34 has the statement "There is nothing more disgraceful than a church that struggles financially simply because its people will not tithe. There is nothing more melancholy than an underpaid minister." However, many very successful churches thrive without teaching tithing (such as those associated with Moody Bible Institute and Dallas Theological Seminary). For almost 300 years the early church thrived through persecution while its pastors (like Jewish rabbis) were self-supporting and were mostly strict ascetics who boasted of their extreme poverty. 8. While Kendall uses Genesis 14 (p43-56) as the origin of tithing by Abraham, the book, Should the Church Teach Tithing?, goes into great detail on this subject. In their discussions of the 90% of Genesis 14:21, almost every commentary concludes the existence of a pre-existing Arab plunder law which compelled Abraham to tithe. As Kendall correctly emphasizes on page 49, he ONLY gave a spoils of war tithe. Also, he gave no freewill offering, built no altar, and ignored Melchizedek on his journey to adjoining Moriah in chapter 22. Also, El Elyon, the highest god of Tyre and Sidon, possessor/creator of heaven and earth, was commonly known by the Canaanites to be either Baal or El. Abraham, not Melchizedek, knew the true God as Yahweh, the LORD. 9. On pages 57-69 Kendall makes little or no difference between the Old Covenant Law and the N.T. except that the N.T. teaches a higher standard --- meaning that ALL should give more than a tithe. The assumption that everybody under the O.T. was required tithe is wrong! --- it only applied to clean food grown or raised in Israel. The poor, merchants, and craftsmen such as carpenters never tithed. Very confusing is Kendall's remark, "Keeping the law of love would also mean keeping the very commandments of Moses, possible without even realizing it" (p68). 10. Kendall uses Hebrews 7 very selectively. The chapter actually concludes in verses 12-18 that ALL commandments supporting the Levitical priesthood, which must include the foundational tithe, MUST be abolished to make room for Christ's higher priesthood.
I would recommend to Kendall and others wanting to honestly discover the truth about tithing that they read two or three books presenting BOTH sides of the issue. I would also recommend reading at least four church historians and cover the time period before AD 325.
Very weak May 16, 2002
I read this book along with a book called "Should the Church Teach Tithing?" I wanted to get a balanced view of the tithing debate from both sides of the issue. I was leaning towards believing that tithing should not be taught before reading this book, and after reading it am 100% convinced that it should not be taught.
This book rehashes the same tired principles on tithing. Malachi 3:8-10 and Matthew 23:23 are verses that pro-tithers quote often. I view Kendall's interpretation of these verses to be lacking. He basically argues that if you tithe (he believes that tithing means giving 10% not the 23% that the Old Testament teaches), you will be blessed. If you do not tithe, you will be cursed. Oh, and you should tithe on your gross, not your net pay because you want God to bless you on your gross pay (blah, blah, blah).
I think the strongest argument for teaching tithing is that Christians give only 2-3% of their incomes on average to Christian work, but the question could be asked is this because churches teach tithing and people don't buy the arguments?
The real treasure is seeing that all our money, time and talents are God's and that every spending, giving and saving decision should be made in light of knowing that the Christian's citizenship is somewhere else (heaven). Forget tithing, let's encourage believers to give it all for the kingdom. God doesn't own 10%, he owns 100%. This issue was never addressed in this book.
Ashley Hodge, CFP Southlake, TX
Sincere and non-legalistic presentation of tithing. Jan 19, 2000
This book (which by the way is specifically dedicated by the author to pastors) could be considered the textbook for tithers, as it so closely resembles the common teaching and preaching heard today on the subject.
Tithing: A Call To Serious Biblical Giving - involves a sincere, encouraging and loving attempt to present why tithing is important for Christians. The book is well written, easy to read and presents some interesting challenges to non-tithing Christians and attempts to provide answers to some of the opposing views concerning the tithe.
But while the author's examination of the tithe is intellectually plausible (and some good and even biblical points are made from time to time), it is unfortunately not well supported by Scripture. The majority of the teaching is presented according to the author's personal opinions, speculations and assumptions (with some testimony) rather than a clear, detailed examination and presentation of Scripture.
For example, on one occasion the author preludes his teaching by telling the reader he is going to present how even the Apostle Paul preached on the tithe (an interesting claim that invited my attention), but what follows is merely and exclusively the author's opinionated speculation concerning what he feels Paul probably might have said in a sermon (though not one of these assumed sermons by the Apostle are supported by any thread of Scripture). The author seems to have a habit of reading a lot in between the lines of Scripture to support (and henceforth enforce) his position on the tithe. Some verses are lifted from their context (although probably in sincerity and ignorance) to support a New Testament defense of tithing.
The book is an excellent presentation of how the tithe is most commonly practiced, preached and understood by Christians today. The book reads like the perfect sermon on the tithe. I would recommend it if you're researching various perspective views on the subject, but unfortunately it fails the test of being able to effectively support a position of biblical tithing based on Scripture alone.
I gave the book 2 stars because while interesting and even enjoyable to read, it was lacking my expectations for a more biblically in-depth investigation of the tithe. The book seems heavily biased by the author's traditional views.